The Full Monty is Theatre in the Park’s big return
The show stars a local pediatric audiologist who is hearing impaired.
Theatre in the Park unveiled their newest show last week at Black Box Theatre with the popular musical The Full Monty. (Yes, this one is indoors, folks.)
The show—which opened Oct. 1 for a three-week engagement—is based on the cult hit film of the same name.
The story centers around a group of men who have been laid off from their jobs at the town steel factory and decide to bare it all as amateur male strippers to keep their families afloat. Think Magic Mike meets Norma Ray, but with singing, and set in England.
The show’s cast of talented local performers come from all walks of life—including a former professional stripper, several primary school teachers, two professional fundraisers, and a realtor. Local actor Ethan Platt, who plays the role of Malcolm MacGregor, is a hearing-impaired board-certified doctor of audiology here in the metro.
We touched base with Platt to find out how the show is going and, more importantly, the lowdown on the musical’s can’t-look-away final act.
The Pitch: Dish! How does a nice boy like you end up stripping in The Full Monty?
Ethan Platt: “Ooooh, Lord. I might look like a nice all-American boy but that is purely a façade as anyone close to me can and will attest. Let’s be honest—I thought so many times while getting my doctorate about quitting and stripping instead so now I get the opportunity to finally do it. Granted it is community theatre, so I’m doing it for free but that’s not important.
The Full Monty is one of my favorite musicals so I could not possibly pass up the opportunity for this to be my first show after my doctoral hiatus. Plus, the production team for this show is out of this world.”
You suffer from hearing loss. Tell me more. Is that a help or hindrance?
I actually have a moderate conductive hearing loss secondary to a genetic collagen deficiency. Basically, my ear bones are not as sturdy as they should be. I’ve worn hearing aids since I was about 21—ironically after deciding I wanted to get my doctorate in audiology. I usually see it as a blessing. Not only do I have an easy excuse for not listening to someone, but I can literally be listening to anything through them—at all times—without anyone knowing.
The best gift of hearing loss? How it acts as a social filter. Somebody randomly walks up and won’t speak up or repeat themselves when I ask? Bye. No, thank you.
Your full-time job is as a pediatric audiologist, yes? That must be close to your heart?
I am indeed a pediatric audiologist during the daylight. I would have laughed at anyone who told me that I would one day work with kids as a full-time job. All of my hearing aid kiddos are very near and dear to me. I feel like sometimes I don’t need kids because I already have enough of them to worry about.
It also helps that I can empathize with kiddos not wanting to wear their hearing aids. I can get on their level and help the parents. Hard-of-hearing kids really understand what it means to not wear their hearing aids.
Tell me about the show. What should guests expect?
Well, the show starts with an amazing stripper and ends with six average joes stripping. Please do not bring your kids unless you want them to hear the entire cursing dictionary. We legit go the full monty and I do not want to be held responsible for you having to explain what a G-string is to your child.
While the musical is light-hearted and comedic, it’s also deeply real. This show has a whole lot of heart. And ass. But, above all, heart.
What else do our readers need to know about you or the performance?
This is not a show you sit quietly and observe. It’s all about the hooting and hollering! A specific scene makes you giggle? Let out a huge guffaw! Feeling awkward about watching a scene? Let out some nervous laughter. Nothing is worse than a ridiculously quiet audience. If you are having a good time, we can feel it. The louder you cheer us on, the better we strip! Or, at least, the better we think we strip.”
The Black Box Theatre inside the Johnson County Arts and Heritage Center is located at 8788 Metcalf Ave., in Overland Park. For showtimes and ticket info, please visit www.theatreinthepark.org.